1. Tell us about your early childhood?
I always see my childhood as a blessing. My relationship with family has always been particularly strong, especially with my mother who I also consider a friend. I was very open about everything in my life with my mother and over time, this bond has strengthened furthermore. I am used to discussing and sharing every aspect of my life with her to seek advice. I hope this does not change anytime soon!
2. Where have you spent your early years (city/vicinity)? Please share with us fond memories of your childhood.
I have been a Lahori girl from the very beginning! As a child I grew up in Cantonment in Lahore with my brother and sister. I was pretty much a tomboy right from the start and used to spend time with the neighbours and the neighbourhood kids in a diverse range of activities. I remember that we used to regularly camp in our family home’s lawn. We also paid frequent visits to the market for firecrackers ! It was fun and exciting passage of time and one that I truly relish.
3. Was acting something you had always wanted to do? What was it you always wanted to be, even as a child?
Since I was 4 I knew that I wanted to be an actor. It was something that my family was initially against, but after completing University it was a passion that I decided to pursue full time. I’ve always been an actor first, and then a host and then a model. Acting has always and will always be my original passion.
4. Tell us about your initiation in the media business?
I started professional acting under the name ‘Jay Kazim’ in Toronto, where I was also approached by a Canadian modeling agency for representation as a commercial model. I also acted in two music videos and was then approached by my then current Canadian agents. With them, I starred in an advertisement for a well-known beverage company which ran for two seasons due to its popularity.
I also completed numerous other commercials coupled with my work in theatre which eventually led to my audition for a lead role in a Canadian feature film. In Pakistan, I had been performing and doing theater in Alhamra since my teens. My close friend Mashal Peerzada was the one who introduced me to the world of practical acting, which is not something which I had actively pursued on my own, but just kind of happened!
5. What are you working on currently?
As a workaholic I usually find myself immersed in several different projects at the same time! At present, I am the host of Morning with Juggan on PTV Home, a platform which I have been associated with for a while now and which we have revamped with fresh content and a new outlook. I am also the local spokesperson for Garnier, an amazing hair-care and skincare brand with whom I’ve been associated with for the past 4 years.
This is a brand that produces safe products made from natural ingredients, which I use myself and wholly support. I am currently a part of the brand’s campaign for their new Color Naturals product line which is very exciting. I am also in talks regarding a few movie roles, something which I’m looking towards getting back into a big way. Let’s see how it goes!
6. What is it about showbiz that appeals to you most?
To be honest it’s not Showbiz that appeals to me but the art form of acting which has drawn me into this career. For me, acting and being in the limelight was a way for me to bring about change, to educate and to clear misperceptions about society, culture and our country. I’ve never been an overly glamorous person and therefore have never been truly fascinated by the dazzle and glamour of Showbiz. I’ve always been the girl next door person, who pursued her career for the passion of the craft rather than the glitz of the industry.
7. Don’t you feel it’s more about exposure today as opposed to acting talent meaning whoever is ready to expose will bag the lead role?
It’s about both. If you’re not talented and you have not worked upon honing your craft, exposure won’t do you any good. You can have good marketing skills, public relations and know the right people, but you must have talent. Exposure does help, but if you don’t have talent and you don’t work on your craft you will not be good in the long term. History is full of examples of one-hit wonders who came into the limelight, became the talk of the town and then fizzled away. It takes dedication and hard work to make a name for yourself in the industry.
8. Would you readily take on bold roles if you feel it fits your character?
For me a bold role is one which challenges me as an actor and as a person, which is something which I am always willing to do. As an actor, too often you are typecast into playing the sultry romantic lead or playing the doting wife / mother etc. Any role which breaks away from the norms and integrates a unique dimension of the human condition is something which I would always want to actively pursue.
9. Previously there were no intimate scenes in television plays. Even holding of hands was forbidden. However, today there seem to be no limitations. Do you feel what is being shown on TV today is in accordance with our values and culture?
As a nation and culture, we have to realize that romance, intimacy and human emotions exist and are a part of the very fabric which define us as humans. It goes without saying that too much intimacy and exposure does portray the wrong message and can be distracting, but at the end of the day people do fall in love and they do go on dates. It’s only if you show this aspect of human nature can you appropriately address its ramifications and consequences. If dramas show characters who engage in affairs on the screen, it is only because people do engage in affairs in real life. Whatever is show in dramas is usually a reflection of real life and we should be careful not to confuse human nature with acting.
10. How come you haven’t tried your hand at ramp modelling?
Ramp modeling has never really been my cup of tea. One of the major reasons I stayed away from this vocation was that I was a bit overweight early on in my career and more importantly; I just didn’t have the height for it. I think that women who model are graceful, elegant and tall! Brands do invite me to be their showstopper and walk the ramp during their showcase, but my modeling career is pretty much limited at that for the time being!
11. Who is the real Juggan Kazim?
Good question! The real Juggan Kazim is someone who likes to keep to herself. I am a workaholic but I’m also more a homebody than many people realize. The glitz and glamour of my career is a separate part of my identity. Something else that not many people know about me is that I love cooking, especially for my family. Away from the world of media, I’m very much a girl next door who likes to spend time with her family.
12. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
In 10 years, in addition to still being the host of my Morning Show I would have liked to have opened my own restaurant. I also have plans to get back into working in movies full time and hope to have worked in several major projects in 10 years’ time. I see myself as a successful entrepreneur and look forward to branching out into different areas.
13. If not an actor then what would it have been for you?
I probably would have become a chef! People seriously underestimate my love of cooking!
14. Words of wisdom for our readers.
The most important thing in the world is to love and respect yourself. When you do that you achieve an inner peace and serenity and everything in your life becomes easier. If you can’t be happy with yourself you can’t do anything to make others happy. You must work hard to improve yourself and improve others.
15. You love spending your time with…
My family! My husband and kids, both his and mine.
Juggan Kazim a Pakistani-Canadian actress, brand ambassador and TV host shared her celebrity career in Pakistani Television Showbiz industry with Fashion Central.